5 Tips To Nail A Job Interview With A Tough Recruiter

That elusive job or internship is almost yours. You just got off the phone after nailing the phone interview. You have a follow-up, in-person interview scheduled for next week.

Your confidence is sky high. You’re going to get hired!

Not so fast! The phone interview was with a fellow Gen Y. It was a friendly, relatively light conversation as the two of you had great chemistry and a lot in common.

Next week’s interview is going to be different. It’s with an old school hiring manager. A veteran. A Baby Boomer. (Add dramatic music, here).

The mere thought significantly diminishes your hopes. Why?

Many of these hiring managers are more experienced people… often Boomers. Interviews with older recruiters are often much tougher. And the hiring manager’s job is to hire the best person for the job, period.

Follow our top 5 tips, and you’ll interview prepared and with confidence – ready to impress the toughest recruiters.

1.This is a Competition… Compete!

No hiring situation pits you against the recruiter. Instead, it’s you against the other candidates – the competition.

Too many opportunities are lost simply because we don’t understand that the recruiter wants us to succeed. In their eyes, it is our job to lose when we walk in the door – or you wouldn’t have gotten the face-to-face interview.

Knowing you’re there to compete is the first step. Get psyched up, smile like you’ve already won, and perform like the job is already yours. In almost any arena – athletics, personal, and career – good things happen when at that moment you expect to win.

2. Know your Competition, by Generation

You can’t compete well if you don’t know the competition – at least in general terms.  In this economy, you’re not just competing against fellow graduates or current students; you are also competing against unemployed and underemployed Gen Y and Gen X. You can also count on Boomers re-entering the workforce being in the interview chair. Each candidate will bring certain qualifications – and stereotypes – with them.

3. Be Prepared to Offer Testimony for You

Practicing in the mirror is great. But what are you practicing? What is your game plan?

Define what sets you apart. Perhaps it is your online influence? The internships you’ve completed? Maybe your passion and enthusiasm? It could be your ability to serve as the voice of the iPhone generation while expanding the company’s customer base.

Now, be prepared to sell it. By selling “You, Inc.” for the next 45 minutes, you’re in the best position to compete – and win.

4. First Impressions Count

The phone interview could have been done in your boxers. In person, your appearance counts. It’s a cliché, but especially with a Boomer recruiter you must dress for success.

For a manual or casual labor position, think Dockers and a nicely ironed button-down dress shirt. Dress shoes are mandatory for any interview (as are dark socks). And for the sake of your future employment, leave the Chucks and tongue hardware at home.

For any job involving a higher degree of responsibility, wear a suit and tie. Women, wear a professional length skirt and top. With responsibility and opportunity come certain expectations of maturity and self-respect.

5. Impress by Going Above and Beyond

Back when the recruiter was entering the workforce, they may have read the company’s annual report before the interview. However, most of the organizations hiring now – start-ups, change-oriented non-profits, and companies run by passionate entrepreneurs – have never prepared an annual report.

Today, your first step is to review a company’s online presence: website, social media, and online reputation. Second, determine if there’s a “fit” between you and the employer – and how your skill set, experience and passion will best help that company. Finally, establish how best to articulate your unique “value proposition” by:

  • Creating a bullet-point marketing plan specific to that company?
  • Constructing an analysis of that organization’s top competitors?
  • Building a social media summary incorporating your current followers, contacts and influence?

And now, the one piece of advice that puts you in the proverbial driver’s seat…

With your value proposition in hand, introduce this unsolicited (and unexpected) contribution to the recruiter with these words: “I’ve taken the liberty to…” As in: “I’ve taken the liberty to perform an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your competition…”

By utilizing this one piece of advice, you’ll show confidence, passion, and a precedent for exceeding expectations. In one sentence, you’ll leap ahead of your competition – regardless of birth generation. – Originally posted on YouTern by Mark Babbitt